The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

It’s No Recession for Health Insurance Companies

Nov 22, 2010

The profits of six of the biggest private health insurance companies increased by 22% over last year. These companies include WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc., Aetna Inc., Humana Inc., Cigna Corp. and Coventry Health Care Inc.

These companies drove up their profits, even as the number of people without health insurance coverage increased by almost five million in just the last year.

How did the insurance companies make so much money in such a poor market? The companies did it the old fashioned way: by jacking up premiums, spending fewer premiums on medical care, purging unprofitable members, and burdening consumers with higher cost-sharing limits.

In other words, the insurance companies increased their profits and executive salaries by forcing those people still with insurance to pay much more money for much less health care.

There is no answer to the problems so long as health care is organized with the aim of making profit.